Research Team

Patricia Deldin

Patricia Deldin, Ph.D., is a Professor at the University of Michigan in the Departments of Psychology (in Clinical Science and CCN) and Psychiatry. Before that she was a professor, for 9 years, at Harvard University. She received her B.A. with honors from the University of Iowa and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the Deputy Director of the University of Michigan Depression Center. Additionally, she helped to launch the National Network of Depression Centers as a founding board member. She has published nearly 90 peer-reviewed articles on depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia with a focus on the neural correlates of major depression. Dr. Deldin and her team are studying Mood Lifters programs as a potential way to help many people worldwide who aren’t receiving sufficient mental health care. Her intention is to provide people in pain, wherever they are and whatever their means, with instant, broad access to effective, evidence-based mental health treatment. Her dream is to tap into the work of the world’s best mental health researchers and make an expanding set of resources available to improve lives everywhere.

Margo Menkes

Margo is a doctoral student in the Clinical Science area of the Psychology Department at the University of Michigan, working with Dr. Melvin McInnis and Dr. Patricia Deldin. Margo is interested in neurocognition in mood disorders and psychotic disorders. She is collaborating with Dr. Ivy Tso’s lab to examine mechanisms of bipolar disorder and psychosis using cognitive testing and electrophysiological approaches, in addition to working with the Prechter Bipolar Research Program’s Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder.

Neema Prakash

Neema is a doctoral student in the program for Clinical Science at the University of Michigan. She received her B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience from the University of Michigan in 2021. During her graduate studies, she hopes to develop, study, and implement accessible mental health care interventions in underserved communities. She plans on doing this by studying Mood Lifters in multiple populations. Her current research focuses on studying Mood Lifters in graduate student and young professional populations.

Elena Pokowitz

Elena is a doctoral student in clinical science at the University of Michigan with Dr. Patricia Deldin. She received her B.S. in cognitive science and child development and her M.Ed. in clinical and developmental research from Vanderbilt University in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Elena is interested in the improvement of accessible mental health care services and hopes to encourage systemic change in the way we approach treatment for the general population. She plans to study Mood Lifters from a program level and is interested in using mixed methods approaches to do so. Elena is currently studying Mood Lifters in undergraduate students. 

Haonan Ye

Haonan is a post-baccalaureate research assistant at the EPICS lab. Through his experience as a research assistant in the EPICS lab, Haonan hopes to develop a deeper understanding of potential causes and effective mental health interventions for mood disorders. As a data team member in the lab, he seeks to improve his data analysis and visualization skills through practice. After graduation, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical or Developmental Psychology.

Dennis Planaj

Dennis is a 4th year undergraduate research assistant studying Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. He is mainly interested in further developing mental health services and mental illness literacy programs offered to adolescents and adults. Through his participation in Mood Lifters, Dennis hopes to receive real world experience and knowledge with therapy services and studying the programs effects in a variety of populations.

Taylor Stacy

Taylor is a senior at the University of Michigan and a research assistant in the EPICS lab. She is majoring in Psychology with minors in Crime and Justice and Quantitative Methods in Social Science. She loves working on the Mood Lifters project because it closely aligns with her beliefs in mental health equity and increasing mental healthcare access and affordability. After graduation, she is planning on pursuing a PhD in Social Work, with the goal of working on improved programming in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

Sophia Oprandi

Sophia Oprandi (she/her) is a rising junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish Language, Literature, and Culture. Working on Mood Lifters allows her to practice her data analysis skills while passionately making a change in the mental health world. Following graduation, she hopes to work as a therapist with the incarcerated or previously-incarcerated population and their families. Mood Lifters delivers some of the accessible, powerful resources that could be used in her future, and she is excited to watch it develop and help others.

Nick Dominijanni

Nick is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Michigan and a research assistant in the EPICS lab. He is majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience on the premed track. He loves working on the Mood Lifters project because he can gain hands-on experience aiding people’s mental health. After graduation, he plans on pursuing an MD and specializing in psychiatry.

Jacquelyn Wrubel

Jacquelyn is a rising senior at the University of Michigan and a research assistant in the EPICS lab. She is studying psychology with the hopes of getting her Masters of Social Work and becoming a therapist. Jacquelyn enjoys being on the Mood Lifters team because the project is making mental health care easy and accessible for a wide population.

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